Leslie Caron

Biography

Leslie Claire Margaret Caron (French pronunciation: [lɛzli kaʁɔ̃], born 1 July 1931) is a French film actress and dancer, who has appeared in 45 films between 1951 and 2003. She was one of the most famous Hollywood musical stars in the 1950s. Caron is best known for the musical films Gigi, Lili, An American in Paris, and Daddy Long Legs, and for the non-musical films The L-Shaped Room, Father Goose, and Fanny. She received two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress. She speaks French and English. Caron was born in Boulogne-sur-Seine, Seine (now Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine), France, to Claude Caron, a French chemist, and Margaret Petit, an American dancer. Caron was prepared for a performing career from childhood by her mother. Caron started her career as a ballet dancer. But eventually Gene Kelly discovered her, and cast her to appear opposite him in the classic musical An American in Paris (1951), a role in which a pregnant Cyd Charisse was originally cast. This led to a long-term MGM contract and a sequence of films, which included the musical The Glass Slipper (1955) and the drama Gaby (1956). She also starred in the successful musicals Daddy Long Legs (1955) with Fred Astaire, Gigi (1958) with Louis Jourdan and Maurice Chevalier, and Lili (1953) with Mel Ferrer. In 1953, Caron was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her starring role in Lili. In 1963, she was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the British drama The L-Shaped Room. In the 1960s and thereafter, Caron worked in European films as well. Caron once said of herself: "I'm not a ballerina. I'm a hoofer." Her later film assignments included Cary Grant's Father Goose (1964); Ken Russell's Valentino (1977), in the role of silent-screen legend Alla Nazimova; and Louis Malle's Damage (1992). She continues to act, appearing in the acclaimed film Chocolat (2000). She is one of the few leading ladies (or actors of any type for that matter) from the classic era of MGM musicals who was still active in film. (Others are Mickey Rooney, Debbie Reynolds, Dean Stockwell, Rita Moreno, Margaret O'Brien, June Lockhart, etc.) Her other recent credits include Funny Bones (1995) with Jerry Lewis and Oliver Platt, The Last of the Blonde Bombshells (2000) with Judi Dench and Cleo Laine, and Le Divorce (2003) with Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts. Most recently, Caron's guest appearance on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit earned her a 2007 Primetime Emmy Award. On April 27, 2009, Caron traveled to New York as an honored guest at a tribute to Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe at the Paley Center for Media. In February 2010 she will play the role of Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Caron married George Hormel II, a grandson of the founder of Hormel (a meat-packing company) in September 1951. They divorced in 1954. Her second husband was British theatre director Peter Hall. They married in 1956 and had two children, Christopher John Hall (TV producer) in 1957 and Jennifer Caron Hall, an actress, in 1962. Caron had an affair with Warren Beatty (1961). When she and Hall divorced in 1965, Beatty was named as a co-respondent and was ordered by the London court to pay "the costs of the case." In 1969, Caron married Michael Laughlin, best known as producer of the film Two-Lane Blacktop; they divorced in 1980. Caron was also romantically linked to Dutch television actor Robert Wolders from 1994 to 1995, and was married to film crew member, Paul Magwood, with whom she has lived since 2003 in Wisconsin but divorced. In semi-retirement from films, she owns and operates an affordable bed and breakfast, Auberge La Lucarne aux Chouettes (The Owls' Nest Inn), located in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, located about 112 km (70 miles) south of Paris.

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Birth Name

Leslie Claire Margaret Caron

Birth Place

Boulogne-Billancourt, Francia

Birth Date

7/1/1931
Known For
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Gigi

Gilberte / 'Gigi'

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An American in Paris

Lise Bouvier

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Father Goose

Catherine Freneau

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Is Paris Burning?

Françoise Labé

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Fanny

Fanny

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Lili

Lili Daurier

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Valentino

Alla Nazimova

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A Very Special Favor

Dr. Lauren Boullard

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The L-Shaped Room

Jane Fosset

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The Last of the Blonde Bombshells

Madeleine

Starring In
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A Christmas Carol

The Ghost of Christmas Past (voice)

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Love, Cecil

Herself

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Leslie Caron, eine Pariserin in Hollywood

Herself

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Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff

Fanny (archive footage)

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Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History

Self

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Chris & Don: A Love Story

Herself

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Passion's Way

Regine De Chantelle

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Le Divorce

Suzanne de Persand

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Le Divorce

Suzanne de Persand

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Murder on the Orient Express

Sra. Alvarado

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Chocolat

Madame Audel

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The Last of the Blonde Bombshells

Madeleine

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Danielle Steel's the Ring - Parts 1 & 2

Madame de Saint Marne

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That's Entertainment III

Clips from 'An American in Paris' / 'Gigi') (archive footage) (uncredited)

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Damage

Elizabeth Prideaux

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Guns

Waitress

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Courage Mountain

Jane Hillary

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Lenin: The Train

Nadia

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That's Dancing!

Herself, film clip (archive footage)

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Reel Horror

Nicole (archive footage)

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La diagonale du fou

Henia Liebskind

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Imperative

Mother

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Goldengirl

Dr. Sammy Lee

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Valentino

Alla Nazimova

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The Man Who Loved Women

Véra

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That's Entertainment Part 2

Clips from 'Lili' & 'An American in Paris' (archive footage)

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QB VII

Angela Kelno

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That's Entertainment

Clips from 'An American in Paris' and 'Gigi' (archive footage)

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His Name Was Madron

Sister Mary

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Il Padre di Famiglia

Paola, Marco's wife

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Is Paris Burning?

Françoise Labé

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Promise Her Anything

Michele O'Brien

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A Very Special Favor

Dr. Lauren Boullard

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Father Goose

Catherine Freneau

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The L-Shaped Room

Jane Fosset

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Guns of Darkness

Claire Jordan

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Three Fables of Love

Annie (segment "Les deux pigeons")

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Fanny

Fanny

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The Battle of Austerlitz

Mlle de Vaudey

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Gigi

Gilberte / 'Gigi'

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Der gläserne Pantoffel

Ella

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Daddy Long Legs

Julie Andre

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The Story of Three Loves

Mademoiselle (segment "Mademoiselle")

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Lili

Lili Daurier

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An American in Paris

Lise Bouvier

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The Man with a Cloak

Madeline Minot

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